Family Farmers in the Corn Belt Are Helping Our Climate by Producing Cleaner Fuel — And They Don’t Have to Own an EV To Do It.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, spoke on the Senate floor about supporting American-grown energy and ending the administration's wasteful EV subsidies.

During her remarks, Senator Fischer urged Congress to support her Nationwide Consumer and Retail Choice Act — legislation that cuts red tape and removes roadblocks to the sale of E-15, a higher ethanol blend of gasoline.

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Following is a transcript of Senator Fischer’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

Last week, the Biden administration announced over half a billion dollars in subsidies for electric vehicle, or EV, charging stations.

That half billion follows two billion more that’s already been handed out to states — despite the fact that only four percent of Americans own EVs.

This is a common trend for the Biden administration — forcing untested, expensive solutions onto the American people in the name of climate change.

But according to the Wall Street Journal, only two federally-funded EV charging stations have been built since Biden became president — even though billions of taxpayer dollars are subsidizing those projects.

And Americans remain hesitant to drive expensive, experimental cars. Last year, 84% of Americans said they’re not considering buying one.

The EV malfunctions that have happened over these past few days of winter weather only serve to confirm their choices.

The administration’s plan for mass adoption of EVs over the next eight years is a pipe dream.

But there are realistic, practical reforms we can make that would benefit the environment without limiting freedom or harming our economy. One of them is approving the sale of gasoline blends with 15 percent ethanol, known as E15.

My legislation, the Nationwide Consumer and Retailer Choice Act, would cut red tape and remove roadblocks to the sale of E15.

Today, California is the only state that hasn’t approved the sale of this partially renewable fuel — an unusual stance for a state that styles itself as a leader in protecting the environment. Should California join the other 49 states in approving E15, that nationwide approval would benefit our environment, our economy, and our energy independence.

Emissions from ethanol are 46 percent lower than from traditional gasoline. One study found that corn ethanol contributed to a reduction of 500 million tons in emissions between 2005 and 2019.

Studies show that if all the gas in California had been E15 in 2022, there would have been a 450 million gallon reduction petroleum consumption. That switch would’ve resulted in greenhouse gas savings of 2.2 billion metric tons. And that’s in California alone — these environmental benefits would increase exponentially if E15 were used more across the country.

Not only do higher ethanol blends of gasoline emit less greenhouse gases, but the corn used in its production soaks up massive amounts of additional CO. This is a doubly positive effect that should please even the most skeptical of our environmentalist friends. During the summer, the Corn Belt of the United States has more photosynthetic activity than even the Amazon rainforest.

Family farmers in the Corn Belt are helping our climate by producing cleaner fuel — and they don’t have to own an EV to do it.

Unlike EV subsidies, E15 is a sensible way to advance environmental goals that doesn’t weigh down our economy. This fuel doesn’t require taxpayer money — it’s cheap enough to be market-driven.

The average price of E15 during the 2022 summer driving season was 16 cents less per gallon than regular gas. In an age of record inflation, that makes a big difference. It benefits retailers who can profit off of E15 and it benefits the millions of American drivers who can switch to a more affordable fuel.

And access to E15 will free retailers and consumers from a dependence on energy produced abroad. Instead, we’ll be relying on producers here at home. This is the way to unleash American energy — prioritize our domestic production and take advantage of our natural resources.

California’s approval would make E15 a nationwide fuel option. And my bill eliminates federal regulatory roadblocks to the year-round, nationwide sale of E15, a lower-cost, lower-carbon fuel. Congress and President Biden must come together to pass legislation that will truly advance an all-of-the-above approach to energy — one that uses many resources we produce here in America.

E15 approval is a win for family farmers producing corn ethanol. It’s a win for consumers at the gas pump. It’s a win for our environment. And it’s a win for American energy security.

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